TALK TO ONE OF OUR SOLICITORS TODAY CALL US ON 02076324300 existing clients call 0207 632 4300
TALK TO ONE OF OUR SOLICITORS TODAY 02076324300existing clients call 0207 632 4300


3 minutes reading time (516 words)

Disclosure of Criminal Convictions

Under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 criminal convictions and cautions that become ‘spent’ do not have to be disclosed except in thirteen specified purposes set out in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (Exceptions) Order 1975. These include, among others, working in healthcare, accountancy, law, judicial office and the police and probation service.

The effect of the legislation is that, unless the purposes in the Exceptions Order are engaged, a person does not have to disclose a previous conviction if it is spent or answer a question which may acknowledge a spent conviction.

The Police Act 1997 introduced the disclosure of criminal conviction history by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), which can provide three types of conviction disclosure records, or ‘certificates’. A criminal conviction certificate sets out an applicant’s convictions and does not contain details of spent convictions or cautions. This is also known as a ‘basic check’.

A criminal record certificate (or ‘standard check’) contains a record of an applicant’s convictions, including spent convictions and cautions.

An enhanced criminal record certificate (or ‘enhanced check’) contains an applicant’s convictions, including spent convictions and cautions, and can include any other information which the police reasonably believe to be relevant for the application and the purposes that the information is sought for. This can include information about arrests where no further action was taken and information about a prosecution which ultimately ended in an acquittal.

Further legislation was introduced in 2013 which introduced filtering to the criminal record certificates and enhanced criminal record certificates. Following these changes, not all spent cautions and convictions will be disclosable on the certificate - some may be protected from disclosure. For adults these include cautions that are at least 6 years old and where the offence was not a listed offence. Similarly, adult convictions are protected from disclosure if they are at least 11 years old if no custodial sentence was imposed, and if the offence was not a listed offence. However, where someone has more than one conviction, these will not be protected and all those convictions will fall to be disclosed.

In January 2019 the Supreme Court determined that this rule requiring disclosure of multiple convictions was disproportionate and incompatible with Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights in that it did not distinguish between the nature of any offences, the number of convictions or cautions, or the length of time that may have passed.

If you receive a disclosure certificate from the DBS and you are concerned about the content, it may be possible to challenge it. If the information on the certificate is inaccurate, you can challenge it by applying in writing to the DBS. Similarly, if you receive an enhanced criminal record certificate and it contains non-conviction information which you think should not be included on the certificate, you can apply to the Independent Monitor of the DBS and ask for this to be reviewed.

Challenging unlawful or inappropriate disclosures of your conviction history can be a confusing and distressing experience. If you would like advice, our lawyers may be able to assist you.

Darren Grimes acquitted of all Electoral Commissio...
Family express concern as inquest concludes into d...
Make an enquiry

Complete our online enquiry form and we'll get back to you as soon as possible

Invalid Input

Invalid Input

Invalid Input

Invalid Input

Invalid Input

Invalid Input

Invalid Input

Have you read and agree to our Privacy Policy here
Invalid Input

legal 500 uk 2016 sash

Contact one of our expert solicitors today

MAKE AN ENQUIRY 02076324300 existing clients call 0207 632 4300
recommended by Legal 500
ranked in Chambers UK

Latest News

The right to be forgotten

27 March 2020

Having false, misleading or outdated information about you online can be hugely detrimental to both your professional and person life, so what can you do about it?

Saunders Law success continues with another caution removal

09 March 2020

A police caution (now known as a ‘simple caution’) is a formal alternative to prosecution for minor criminal charges. It might look an easy way out at the time, but it is disclosable by poli...